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The Hocken Library


The University is committed to scholarship through excellence in teaching, research and service and to the provision of a stimulating campus environment for the development of lifelong learning skills.

The purpose of this Charter is to advance those aims, to acknowledge the University's commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi, and to promote good relations between the staff and administration of the University and its undergraduate and postgraduate students.

This Charter is to affirm and restate in accessible form the principles behind the existing policies of the University. It is not intended to create additional legal obligations or to supersede existing policies.

Reasonable compliance with this Charter will be expected of all members of the University, though it may be subject to justified limitations which are acceptable in a free and fair academic community or which are legitimately due to resource constraints.

This Charter should act as a guide to the interpretation of current University policies, to the development of future policies, and to relations between members of the University where no other policies exist.


In pursuing its aims, the University of Otago recognises the following rights of its students:

  1. to experience high quality teaching and supervision of postgraduate research
  2. to have learning experiences that are challenging and stimulating
  3. to be provided with course content which is up-to-date and informed by current scholarship
  4. to acknowledgement of the Treaty of Waitangi, including support for Māori student participation within the University. This should be achieved in a manner consistent with Māori cultural aspirations and preferences and the practices of the University
  5. to receive clear and accurate information and advice regarding all courses
  6. to be informed well in advance how and when their work will be assessed
  7. to receive fair, timely and useful feedback on their performance and progress
  8. to "have a say" about the value, relevance and effectiveness of their academic programmes and the teaching they experience
  9. to be treated with respect and courtesy by University staff and other students in an environment free from harassment and discrimination
  10. to expect that the University will provide a safe and secure environment
  11. to have reasonable opportunities to participate in University decision-making
  12. to be informed about what is expected of them as students
  13. to have access to clear administrative guidelines and procedures
  14. to have access to clear and appropriate procedures for dealing with grievances
  15. to have reasonable, equitable and scheduled access to University staff and services
  16. to have reasonable access to quality facilities, student support services, and resources necessary for achievement of academic goals
  17. to be members of a students' association


In exercising their rights, Otago students are expected to accept the following responsibilities:

  1. to be self-motivated and self-directed learners
  2. to participate appropriately in their courses of study
  3. to prepare for classes which require work in advance
  4. to put the best effort possible into assignments and to hand them in on time
  5. to seek to develop critical thinking skills and apply these to their courses of study
  6. to submit work which is their own
  7. to provide fair and appropriate feedback to University staff
  8. to treat all staff, students and neighbours of the University with respect and courtesy
  9. to listen and participate in classes
  10. to observe appointment times and office hours
  11. to promote an environment which is safe and free from harassment and discrimination
  12. to respect both University and private property
  13. to be aware of opportunities to participate in University affairs
  14. to make themselves aware of and comply with University rules and policies
  15. to use appropriately the services and resources that the University provides


Any student who feels that the principles of this Charter have not been respected can raise his or her concerns with the relevant person or Department, a students' association or the OUSA Advocacy Service.

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